The University of South Carolina Aiken's Eventing team is on top of the world after taking home the 2023 United States Eventing Association Intercollegiate Eventing Championship for the first time in school history.
Students showed up to cheer on their fellow Pacers as the Student Government Association (SGA) unveiled the new 2023 USEA Intercollegiate Champions banner inside the Student Activities Center on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
This past May, the Eventing Team traveled to Mill Spring, North Carolina, to compete against some of the nation's top schools. With only five riders in attendance, the Pacers were the smallest team in the field but outperformed the entire intercollegiate community to bring home their first intercollegiate championship title. Top competitors included Auburn University, University of Kentucky, University of Georgia, and more.
"I don't think any of us would have ever predicted that we would end up on top," said Carson Langenberg, president of the Eventing team. This year was Carson's first time competing in the competition and says her experience was like nothing else. "I know that all of us are incredibly grateful. For me personally, it still doesn't feel real. I still have moments where I'm like dang we actually did that."
For teammate Sydney Shinn, this is an incredible honor. "It's just great to have the Aiken community behind you and the horses were all very good which doesn't always happen," she said.
Some members say their love for horses started at a young age. It's one of the main reasons Sydney says she wanted to be a part of the team. "I've been eventing for a long time now," she said. "I've been competing for ten years, and it was just a great opportunity to become more incorporated in the community."
All the national championship team members will be returning next season. Next year's championship will be held at USC Aiken.